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View Full Version : West Coast offense taking a hike


dbfan21
01-29-2009, 06:22 AM
Everything about the Broncos will change on one side of the ball.

There will be a new system. There will be new terminology.

The Broncos' defense transforming from a 4-3 system to a 3-4? Nope. Well, maybe, but more assuredly, the Broncos are about to rewrite their offensive playbook.

Say goodbye to the West Coast offense, versions of which Mike Shanahan directed for the past 14 years. New head coach Josh McDaniels is bringing the New England Patriots' offense to Denver.

Study up, Jay Cutler.

"Our system is very unique," McDaniels said in a phone interview Wednesday. "There are not a lot of branches off a tree that uses this system."

The system? Watch the Patriots' offensive plays develop from a stadium's upper level

and it looks like they're running the basketball version of a fast-break, three-man weave. Receivers are bunched, receivers are spread, but receivers are constantly running patterns off each other.
The Boston media dubbed it the "Amoeba Offense" for its ability to adapt to its own personnel, or adjust to a defense. And, indeed, against the Broncos in Week 7, journeyman tailback Sammy Morris rushed for 138 yards. By halftime.

"The unique part about that is I know a lot of people associate what we did in New England with the passing game, but we were sixth in the league in rushing this year," McDaniels said. "It's the unknown or missing piece that not many people know about or talk about. It's not the same each week. It won't be the same. It doesn't fall into a specific category like the West Coast."

Former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe played seven seasons in Shanahan's West Coast system and he's become familiar with the Patriots' offense through his work as an NFL analyst for CBS. The New England system hasn't necessarily kept its tight ends busy catching passes as Broncos tight ends Daniel Graham, a former Patriot, and Tony Scheffler surely have noted.

But Sharpe said the Broncos' talented receiving duo of Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall will be well-suited for the New England-style offense.
"It shouldn't be very difficult, because they have similar pieces," Sharpe said. "I think Eddie Royal can be every bit as good as Wes Welker. I think Brandon Marshall I don't know if he can be as good as Randy Moss because Randy Moss is pretty special. But they've got two bookend tackles. You've got Jay Cutler, who's a franchise quarterback. He turns the ball over a little too much right now for my fancy. You can get a running back."

The New England system was a major reason Mike McCoy, and not Jeremy Bates, was selected to work directly with Cutler in 2009 as the Broncos' new offensive coordinator. Speaking while still in shock over Shanahan's firing, Cutler strongly urged the Broncos to keep Bates as his quarterbacks coach.

Was McDaniels' discomfort with that quarterback-coach relationship the reason Bates was not retained?

"That didn't have anything to do with it," McDaniels said. "It was a situation where I felt like the best thing for the Broncos going forward was putting the staff together the way that I did. I'll spend significant time with Jay. Our relationship will be very important."

McCoy is familiar with New England's offense, while Bates, who landed quite well as USC's offensive coordinator, is embedded in the West Coast offense. McCoy had been quarterbacks coach of the Carolina Panthers, who have run New England's offense since they hired Jeff Davidson as offensive coordinator in 2007. Davidson was a Patriots offensive assistant from 1997-2004.

It's a system that helped Tom Brady, a former sixth-round draft pick, pass Peyton Manning as the NFL's undisputed No. 1 quarterback in 2007. It's a system that transformed Matt Cassel from a backup college quarterback to the NFL's eighth-ranked passer in 2008.

If the offensive system is good enough for Brady and Cassel, it should be good enough for Cutler.

"That will all play out in time," McDaniels said. "I'm not worried about that. I think everyone will love playing in this system. It's been very, very successful and it takes good players to make it go. And it starts with Jay."

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_11576892

I sure hope this offense works! I don't want Scheffler to be lost in the shuffle. He's too much of a weapon.

Ray Finkle
01-29-2009, 06:39 AM
Scheffler won't be lost. He will either be:
1. Injured
2. Act in a similar role to Ben Watson (when Watson is not injured)....

Dedhed
01-29-2009, 07:03 AM
Good. The WCO, while once great, is now archaic, imo, boring to watch. I think the WCO is better suited for the Joe Montana's, Brian Griese's, and Chad Pennington's of the world who aren't going to win games with their arm, but are patient enough to pick you to death.

Watching the Pats offense in recent years, you see the QB attacking all levels of the field consistently. That balance within the passing games doesn't allow the defense find a rhythm, and has to be more exciting for the players (particularly the QB) to run.

The Broncos offense, ie the WCO, is pick, pick, pick, pick, take a deep shot, pick, pick, pick, pick. It's not an attacking style, but a lulling style that I don't think suits the nature of our talent very well. I think Cutler, Marshall, Royal, Hillis, and the OL are perfect fits for McDaniels's offense.

ludo21
01-29-2009, 07:34 AM
I am excited to see what this offense can do.

I am MORE excited to see if he improves our defense though.

Man-Goblin
01-29-2009, 07:39 AM
Is there any other team in the league that runs a similar system?

HooptyHoops
01-29-2009, 07:50 AM
I'm pumped for what this offense is going to do next year...attack!! Jay will love it!!

Kaylore
01-29-2009, 07:59 AM
The Broncos offense, ie the WCO, is pick, pick, pick, pick, take a deep shot, pick, pick, pick, pick. It's not an attacking style, but a lulling style that I don't think suits the nature of our talent very well. I think Cutler, Marshall, Royal, Hillis, and the OL are perfect fits for McDaniels's offense.

the Patriots offense is one of the most complained about offenses by defenders because of the number of pick (or "rub") plays it has. That's pretty much their bread and butter and has been for some time. They also don't attack down field as often as you think. In fact you pretty much described the Erhardt-Perkins offense in the quote above. It's traditionally much more conservative than a WCO. It originally was a run heavy offense that "lulled the defense to sleep" by playing hard up front, running and then taking an occasional deep shot. Now McDaniels certainly threw more in 2007, but that's atypical of what the Patriots usually do, and certainly different from the overall philosophy of that system.

The two offenses that do "attack down field consistently" are the run and shoot, which was made famous by Warren Moon and the Oilers, and Martz offense which is a dressed up version of the Coryell offense. They've never really caught on like some other systems.

Secondly, the west coast offense isn't "dead". Or to be more specific it has been dead for twenty years. The west coast offense as it appeared under Bill Walsh isn't anything like it's used now. In a copycat league, teams regularly borrow what's working and fold it into their own game plan as each year goes on. Every team has adapted their nomenclature to allow any kind of personnel grouping with any kind of play. So really when you talk about the "west coast offense" you're talking about the verbiage and that's about it. There's nothing wrong with the "system" in any sense. Ultimately it comes down to having a good QB, dynamic receivers, a solid offensive line and a reliable running game. If you have that than any system can work well.

Rohirrim
01-29-2009, 08:10 AM
Why is Josh still using the "we" when talking about the Patsies?

Kaylore
01-29-2009, 08:18 AM
Why is Josh still using the "we" when talking about the Patsies?

Are talking about this?
"The unique part about that is I know a lot of people associate what we did in New England with the passing game"

How else should he have explained this? Is he supposed to say "they" like he wasn't there or is he supposed to say "I" like he did it by himself?

TonyR
01-29-2009, 08:30 AM
"The unique part about that is I know a lot of people associate what we did in New England with the passing game, but we were sixth in the league in rushing this year," McDaniels said. "It's the unknown or missing piece that not many people know about or talk about. It's not the same each week. It won't be the same. It doesn't fall into a specific category like the West Coast."


Shhhhhh, don't tell Lex!!!

WolfpackGuy
01-29-2009, 08:30 AM
He needs to start talking like Hubie Brown. The king of second person.

Dedhed
01-29-2009, 08:30 AM
the Patriots offense is one of the most complained about offenses by defenders because of the number of pick (or "rub") plays it has. That's pretty much their bread and butter and has been for some time. They also don't attack down field as often as you think. In fact you pretty much described the Erhardt-Perkins offense in the quote above. It's traditionally much more conservative than a WCO. It originally was a run heavy offense that "lulled the defense to sleep" by playing hard up front, running and then taking an occasional deep shot. Now McDaniels certainly threw more in 2007, but that's atypical of what the Patriots usually do, and certainly different from the overall philosophy of that system.

The two offenses that do "attack down field consistently" are the run and shoot, which was made famous by Warren Moon and the Oilers, and Martz offense which is a dressed up version of the Coryell offense. They've never really caught on like some other systems.

Secondly, the west coast offense isn't "dead". Or to be more specific it has been dead for twenty years. The west coast offense as it appeared under Bill Walsh isn't anything like it's used now. In a copycat league, teams regularly borrow what's working and fold it into their own game plan as each year goes on. Every team has adapted their nomenclature to allow any kind of personnel grouping with any kind of play. So really when you talk about the "west coast offense" you're talking about the verbiage and that's about it. There's nothing wrong with the "system" in any sense. Ultimately it comes down to having a good QB, dynamic receivers, a solid offensive line and a reliable running game. If you have that than any system can work well.I wasn't using "pick" as in "setting a pick", or rub. I was using it as "nibble", like taking tiny pieces at a time.

Kaylore
01-29-2009, 08:38 AM
I wasn't using "pick" as in "setting a pick", or rub. I was using it as "nibble", like taking tiny pieces at a time.

Oh, sorry. That's still a pretty standard method of attack for Erhardt-Perkins. They are a very nibbler offense. The difference is WCO likes to get guys the ball in space and pick up YAC. Erhardt-Perkins is more about getting someone open by design and then relying on the QB to locate them. Think Brady before he got all his toys. He was more methodical than explosive. He'd move the team to the thirty and let Vinatieri kick the field goal to win the game. Chris Simms is another similar style QB in that offense. It really isn't flashy at all. Now McDaniels dressed it up, but he also had the personnel to do that. Fortunately for him he still does.

I think the biggest change will be Jay might not move around as much. WCO loves athletic QB's and Erhardt-Perkins likes pocket passers. You look at the QB's that run Erhardt-Perkins (Simms, Brady, Bledsoe, Testaverde) and its a bunch of statues. We might see the roll-outs go away.

dbfan21
01-29-2009, 08:47 AM
I'd love to see McD maximize the weapons on offense and put up some sick numbers on the scoreboard. There is just soooo much potential there, it's crazy!

gyldenlove
01-29-2009, 08:50 AM
Oh, sorry. That's still a pretty standard method of attack for Erhardt-Perkins. They are a very nibbler offense. The difference is WCO likes to get guys the ball in space and pick up YAC. Erhardt-Perkins is more about getting someone open by design and then relying on the QB to locate them. Think Brady before he got all his toys. He was more methodical than explosive. He'd move the team to the thirty and let Vinatieri kick the field goal to win the game. Chris Simms is another similar style QB in that offense. It really isn't flashy at all. Now McDaniels dressed it up, but he also had the personnel to do that. Fortunately for him he still does.

I think the biggest change will be Jay might not move around as much. WCO loves athletic QB's and Erhardt-Perkins likes pocket passers. You look at the QB's that run Erhardt-Perkins (Simms, Brady, Bledsoe, Testaverde) and its a bunch of statues. We might see the roll-outs go away.

The Patriots offense was very much a timing offense in the days of Weis, but has moved away from that with McDaniels. They used to run a lot of short passes where Brady would read the defense presnap, and his first read would often run a 1-cut route and Brady would then have to hit him right after the cut, in that instance when he has a step on the defender.

With Welker they played a lot of options, where Welker would be in a short route that he would decide based on the coverage, and Brady would hit him out of his break.

FISH
01-29-2009, 08:56 AM
ooo....Kaylore seems a little fired up....this is good...portends a good year

Inkana7
01-29-2009, 09:21 AM
Watching that 2007 offense, or more importantly, cheering against them, was the most frustrating thing I've ever seen. Those guys got 8 yards on every single first down, converted just about every 3rd and 4th down and never got stuffed in the red zone. It was amazing. Even when teams took away Randy Moss Wes Welker killed them with 12 catches for 10 first downs. It was so frustrating.

McDaniels isn't an idiot. He can see the kind of weapon that Tony is, and he'll utilize it. He'll also not abandon the roll outs and bootlegs. If a player has a strength, you utilize it.

cmhargrove
01-29-2009, 09:48 AM
Oh, sorry. That's still a pretty standard method of attack for Erhardt-Perkins. They are a very nibbler offense. The difference is WCO likes to get guys the ball in space and pick up YAC. Erhardt-Perkins is more about getting someone open by design and then relying on the QB to locate them. Think Brady before he got all his toys. He was more methodical than explosive. He'd move the team to the thirty and let Vinatieri kick the field goal to win the game. Chris Simms is another similar style QB in that offense. It really isn't flashy at all. Now McDaniels dressed it up, but he also had the personnel to do that. Fortunately for him he still does.

I think the biggest change will be Jay might not move around as much. WCO loves athletic QB's and Erhardt-Perkins likes pocket passers. You look at the QB's that run Erhardt-Perkins (Simms, Brady, Bledsoe, Testaverde) and its a bunch of statues. We might see the roll-outs go away.

I think we already watched this happen the second half of last season. If you re-watch the games, we really didn't do a lot of planned roll outs the second half of the season (surely not as much as 2006 and 2007).

WolfpackGuy
01-29-2009, 09:54 AM
I still think we'll see designed plays to get Jay outside, but I don't mind him throwing from the pocket.
He has more than enough mobility to get away and hit a big one when the play breaks down.
The difference between Jay and those other guys is he CAN move, they COULDN'T.

Kaylore
01-29-2009, 10:03 AM
The Patriots offense was very much a timing offense in the days of Weis, but has moved away from that with McDaniels. They used to run a lot of short passes where Brady would read the defense presnap, and his first read would often run a 1-cut route and Brady would then have to hit him right after the cut, in that instance when he has a step on the defender.

With Welker they played a lot of options, where Welker would be in a short route that he would decide based on the coverage, and Brady would hit him out of his break.

There are definitely more options, but that is more a tweaking of the system because of the high IQ of Welker and Brady and not so much an abandoning of the system. Regardless Royal is pretty smart and works hard and Jay used to take reads at the line in college. There will be an adjustment. Jay is used to Shanahan telling him the play and the coverage to expect. McDaniels is going to expect Jay to be more hands on in this system and have to think for himself. I think he'll be ok.


I think we already watched this happen the second half of last season. If you re-watch the games, we really didn't do a lot of planned roll outs the second half of the season (surely not as much as 2006 and 2007).
Yeah we've moved away from it for sure. Jake couldn't throw from the pocket and Jay loved the shotgun and staying in so it's not like it's a complete change. I just worry Mcdaniels won't take advantage of Jay's athleticism the way a WCO tends to. We'll have to see.

I still think we'll see designed plays to get Jay outside, but I don't mind him throwing from the pocket.
He has more than enough mobility to get away and hit a big one when the play breaks down.
The difference between Jay and those other guys is he CAN move, they COULDN'T.

That's true, though they obviously selected players to fit their system and their system doesn't put a premium on it. I hope you're right. It's one more thing for defenses to defend and forcing the ends to play contain does a lot of for an offense.

_Oro_
01-29-2009, 10:06 AM
Sorry for D. Graham. He came to us fleeing the Patriots system, now the Patriots system has found him again!

TonyR
01-29-2009, 10:09 AM
Sorry for D. Graham. He came to us fleeing the Patriots system, now the Patriots system has found him again!

I don't know that he was "fleeing". They just weren't going to pay both him and Ben Watson.

strafen
01-29-2009, 10:14 AM
Is there any other team in the league that runs a similar system?Carolina Panthers...

Kaylore
01-29-2009, 10:34 AM
I don't know that he was "fleeing". They just weren't going to pay both him and Ben Watson.

Yeah he wanted to stay but went for more money. I heard an interview on the Ride Home with Logan and Lois and he was excited about McDaniels. Said he demands excellence and makes sure everyone is on the same page. I don't think he left because of the system.

cmhargrove
01-29-2009, 10:38 AM
Sorry for D. Graham. He came to us fleeing the Patriots system, now the Patriots system has found him again!

Graham came to Denver to get paid.

Graham also would love to get another championship, and our old team wasn't going to get it done. Now he gets money, gets to live in Denver, and gets the chance at another ring. I think he'll make it.

cabronco
01-29-2009, 10:53 AM
I still think we'll see designed plays to get Jay outside, but I don't mind him throwing from the pocket.
He has more than enough mobility to get away and hit a big one when the play breaks down.
The difference between Jay and those other guys is he CAN move, they COULDN'T.

Ya I hope Mc-D will use Cutlers athletic ability in situations, instead of having him stand back there like a statue every pass play. I dont think Cutler would like that anyways. He likes to move around , slide, etc to make plays. Thats what he does best right now. Im not too sure Jay will like the new system at first unless it translates to W's, then he will.